The last few days have been very busy, but not at all in a bad way. I got our passports (Miranda has the cutest passport I've ever seen!), bought every little thing I anticipate needing during our trip, became the head of "neighborhood beautification" for the Seabrook home owner's association, did a lot all around the house, and had lunch with my mom twice. Kat, aka Triple_Phoenix, helped me clean the house to a point that I don't feel like I'm going to lose my mind, which was a huge relief. I still need to clean up the lovely nail polish art the cats created especially for me all over the bathroom floor, walls, vanity, and bathtub, but if it must that can wait until I get back, because it's not getting any drier.

A Life Less Plastic: Pitfalls )

So, that's it, really. It's amazing how much time so few things can take up, but I guess that's just relativity for you. I'm looking forward to the dream Magick meet-up tomorrow and then to departing Tuesday afternoon!
enduringplum: (Annoyed)
( May. 14th, 2009 09:43 am)
Travel Prep, Baby Stuff, Whining, Etc. )

Well, enough of that.

My garden greens are still delicious, although my Swiss chard has fed a large family of some sort of striped inch worm, and I'm looking forward to eating another big harvest of spicy mustard greens again tonight and knowing that I'll have another healthy harvest to enjoy with I return from Denmark! As long as Carl keeps the plants watered, that is.

The first Lilliput zinnias have popped in to colorful bloom, brightening the front flower bed with their cheerful red, pink, or salmon-colored pompoms. One of my sunflowers has begun to open and I'm interested to see just which type it is- the mammoth, seedy Russian or the unusual chartreuse.

I've got a few nasturtiums popping up where my catnip was and I'm looking forward to adding their slightly spicy, colorful blooms to my salads, a few of which should be ready by the time I get back.

I had a seed tray disaster in the backyard, so all my tiny sprouts are gone, but I have more of most of those seeds, so I'll just start them again when I get back. I don't have any more Love-Lies-Bleeding, but I already have a different amaranth in the front flower bed that I'm going to relocate before I fly out Tuesday morning, so I can enjoy it in place of the Love-Lies-Bleeding. Besides, there's always next spring!
enduringplum: Dr. Girlfriend by Deviant Art user "Cowkitty"  (Golden)
( May. 12th, 2009 10:02 am)
My mom, Miranda, and I will be departing for Denmark this Tuesday! I'm so looking forward to seeing Miranda and Bedstemor meet for the first time, as well as to seeing all my relatives and my lovely cousin Katie who is making a special side trip to Denmark to visit with us all for a week; she will be doing an internship at The Hague this summer, which focuses and expands upon the work she has been doing in water purification (she was in Nigeria last summer!) through Princeton. I know traveling with an infant will be challenging, but I'm looking forward to that, as well, and feel privileged to even have the opportunity to be so "inconvenienced."
enduringplum: Dr. Girlfriend by Deviant Art user "Cowkitty"  (Golden)
( May. 8th, 2009 11:04 am)
I'd like to be able to walk to more places in my neighborhood. I can walk to the pharmacy and the grocery store, but I never walk to the grocery store because I always come home with too much to carry in just a bag - I need to start making smaller, more frequent trips. There are plenty of restaurants in my neighborhood that are pretty good - the fried oyster po-boys at the daiquiri shop are delish!- and I could go to school in the neighborhood if I can get together the money for UNO, to which I could easily walk or bike! I don't believe they have an ASL program, but I should investigate it, especially if I can get any grant money for school - that's something else to investigate. Of course, I have to really decide if I want to go back to school at all, because I'm not entirely sure I do, but I do feel that I will remain unsatisfied with my current level of education until I get a degree... but I digress!

I think that the "walkability" of one's neighborhood is very important and, if it weren't for the yearly threat of hurricanes, which so often require us to evacuate, I would more seriously consider becoming a one car family. I checked out my neighborhood's walk score on and it only got a measly forty-five, about halfway between great and terrible, which is only a little worse than I thought.

Part of the gradual "greening" (I really am ambivalent about that term!) is eliminating plastic from my life, changing the way I think about the purchases I make, making/growing more at home, and reducing other forms of waste, like wasted fuel, which means less driving and more walking. Plus walking's good for you and I could certainly use the exercise.

Reducing our impact on our environment is a way to be good to the planet, which is a way to be good to ourselves and future generations. If you're interested in improving public transportation, I suggest you check out the gossip about the 2009 Transportation Bill; here's a petition if you'd like to get involved, but don't have the time to do it on more personal level:
enduringplum: (Nothings)
( May. 5th, 2009 10:51 am)
The May Day picnic, although we held it on the third of May due to the time constraints of different schedules and modern life, was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the ritual; it had been a very long time since I'd participated in a ritual with other Pagans, so it was deeply fulfilling to share that experience with them and to call a corner again, especially since it was the South. Being with other Pagans, specifically those of Lamplight Circle who are down-to-earth, friendly, open-minded, and just really authentic, kind people inspires me to be more true to myself and my ideal practice as a Pagan, which hasn't been something I've been able to do easily since Katrina. Maybe I've been feeling more bitterness than I realized.

Yesterday was a difficult day with Miranda, so I was feeling exhausted and overwhelmed by the time my friends arrived to play Rifts. I tried to temper my bitchiness and I think I succeeded to a point; fun was still had by all, so it was worth it to have them over despite the house being an utter disaster and being so tired. Rachael, my sister-in-law, drove everyone home, bless her heart, and I was asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow, less than ten minutes after everyone had gone home at nearly two in the morning. I should write my notes up in my gaming LJ to keep track of our sessions, because the plot just keeps getting more and more convoluted the longer G, our game master, graciously lets our characters live.

I'm going to a free ceramics class for adults sponsored by NORD, which I found out about through Pat Jolly, a longtime family friend. I've been wanting to get back in to ceramics for quite a while now, so I'm looking forward to it. I don't think the class will be running for very long, just a month, but I'm sure I can get something out of it or at least discover if I'd really like to delve deeper in to clay.

My washing machine is mildewy and I followed the recommended cleaning procedure to no avail. The next step is to take the bottom front panel off and see if I can clean out the filter, which may be caked in mildew. It's very frustrating, because I have to wash every load a couple times and if I forget it in the washer for even two hours the clothes pick up the mildew smell again.
enduringplum: (Brown Sugar)
( May. 4th, 2009 12:16 pm)
The first buds have formed on the biggest of my zinnias and sunflowers. Right now they're just tight, little packages that have yet to burst in to color and I can't wait to see them when they do; I know it will happen suddenly somehow: I'll be so caught up in everyday life that I'll stop noticing all the little, daily changes and then one day I'll raise the blinds to find a flower garden singing with color just outside of my everyday life.

Yet I'm very happy with my little flower and vegetable garden, which I am very gradually expanding, one square foot at a time. The big bed in the front, which we paid Rick to dig out and line with large cement blocks to create a raised bed, hosts a variety of flowers, vegetables, and herbs, including the red giant mustard and Swiss chard I've been enjoying sauteed, in salads, and on the bison burgers Carl cooks for us every other week. The mustard is so easy and quick to grow that I plan to grow it year round if it doesn't bolt when our really hot weather arrives; it even sprouted in the grass from a handful of seeds I spilled and ignored utterly.

The flower bed in front of our window is full of a variety hardy, fast-growing zinnias, two types of sunflower, and a lone black-eyed susan my mom gave me, which I planted there simply because I had no more suitable place for it. Even the sunflowers are not yet tall enough to be seen well from the wide, front window, but I can see just the tops of their leafy heads and I like to see them waving in the wind or dancing in the rain. I'm looking forward to watching them track the sun's movement through the sky once they bloom and I know my zinnias will faithfully grace us with their color all summer long, and I've no choice but to be patient.

In a narrow strip of soil between the border of that flower bed and the path to our front door I planted an ancient pack of sweet basil seeds, which surprised me by sprouting almost immediately. The Red Rubin basil seeds I planted just across the way haven't fared so well, because I repeatedly disturbed the soil where they grew to plant a lovely, pale pink miniature rose and a typically robust lemon grass beside my already large and still spreading rosemary (is it any surprise? After all, rosemary is said to thrive near homes run by the women therein).

I have some seeds sprouting (or not) on our round table on the back patio. I'm disappointed that none of my blue shrimp plant seeds have sprouted, but I may need to scarify them with sandpaper or soak them to encourage them to germinate. I have gotten one, deep red sprout Love-Lies-Bleeding, which I'm hoping I can transplant to the front vegetable bed and nourish to its full, stately height. My calendula sprouts are doing well, as are the bush beans, the absolutely miniscule Phoenician mullein sprouts, and the little lamb's ears. Most of the seeds that have not germinated are very old, some of them were packaged for sale for 1995, but I thought I might as well give them a chance.

As Six_Bells_Chime suggested I'm going to plant some catnip in a hanging basket for the back patio, to keep the little fiends away from it! Then I can dole it out to them whenever I want a little entertainment. I've got a lot of other seeds to plant, as well, plenty that I ordered from Seeds of Change and a few common herbs my mom picked up at the most recent garden sale/show we attended at the Botanical Garden.

I think I may add a few sweet potatoes to my bulb garden if I can get some to sprout or find some cheap sweet potato slips at one of the local garden centers; I'll probably try Laughing Buddha, because the owner often has harder-to-find plants and supplies, although her overall selection is fairly limited. She also often has adorable baby animals, like the piglets and ducklings I saw during my last visit.

I'm already thinking of my fall and winter garden, which I want to fill with black flowers and plenty of poppies; Poppies do beautifully in New Orleans through autumn and winter, and I love their scent, which reminds me of the love story of Krishna and Radha, but they start looking rather strained after April. If I get ambitious I may even start some foxglove this fall; I've had luck getting them to bloom the first year and getting them through our hot summer before, so I know it can be done. I'm going to plant more vegetables, too, and I'd especially like to grow radishes, raddichio, and parsnips, and I would like to eventually grow asparagus.
I didn't think my catnip sprouts would make it as long as they did- the biggest one was actually a three inch tall plant!- and today they all met their end upon Sterling's discovery of the psychedelic kitty corner of my garden (yes, I know catnip is not actually a psychedelic, but it certainly has a powerful effect on my beasties). When I went out to water this morning I discovered nothing but a crater, no doubt carved by Sterling's frenzied writhing in the dirt, where my catnip had briefly grown. The lamb's ears, marigolds, and onions around the crater were completely undamaged, not even a leaf out of place, but my catnip was no more. So I planted some nasturtium seeds there.
enduringplum: (Inviting)
( Apr. 27th, 2009 11:14 am)
I don't know what changed, but since singing with the Pfisters at Jazz Fest yesterday I seem to have regained most of my high range. I'm nervous, though, because what if I suddenly lose it again? It doesn't matter, I'm going to keep practicing with it and keep it sounding as good as it can!
I was talking to Dave and Triple_Phoenix last night about co-dependency and isolation, because all of us have experience with both and Dave is still involved in a deeply co-dependent relationship with his girldriend, although I have to admit he's improved his circumstances a lot, considering how bad they were just two years ago, but there's still huge room for improvement. Two years ago he couldn't do anything with me without being manipulated in to a huge, screaming, emotionally draining argument by S, his girlfriend, but he's worked with her enough that he can actually do things with us again; still, I suggest that he go to therapy without her, since she refuses to go to therapy, so that he can better deal with their lingering issues, although I doubt that he will, because he just doesn't seem ready for that. If nothing else I'm thankful that the emotional abuse in their relationship has mellowed to the point that S is no longer isolating Dave from half of his friends. I'd love to be able to get to know their daughter better, too, but I don't think that will be able to happen unless S does finally go to therapy or they separate.

Isolation can also be healthy, like when we limit ourselves to a certain genre of art or music for a while or use it to escape from the everyday and connect with ourselves again. After all, Aborigine and Japanese culture wouldn't have developed their most unique customs and beliefs if not for their isolation, voluntary and involuntary, respectively. However, isolation should always come to an end, I believe, because we can only come so far without exploring new concepts and influences.

My mom was raised in a very co-dependent way, which she has overcome a great deal, although obviously not completely, and she raised me to be as far from co-dependent as she was able, but I still have co-dependent tendencies with which I struggle. Carl does, too, especially when it comes to not being able to express or understand what he's feeling, which gives me a lot of control that I don't really want, because I'm naturally controlling. I think it helps to be aware of it, but it's really frustrating to have something I'm trying to overcome that my friends and family just go along with for their own co-dependent reasons.
enduringplum: (Blush)
( Apr. 19th, 2009 08:38 pm)

Holley (my mom) and Jackie (me!) singing at French Quarter Fest
enduringplum: (Come Hither Gaze)
( Apr. 10th, 2009 12:36 pm)
I think I may be getting depressed again. I felt terrific throughout my fertility treatments and during pregnancy, which was no doubt due to all the hormones, but now that I'm no longer exclusively breastfeeding I have been having bouts of tearfulness during the day and, during those rare moments when I'm not engaged with Miranda, I feel very listless and lost. I don't want to take prescription anti-depressants, because those always make me feel like I'm made out of cardboard after a while and then I stop taking them, which totally defeats the purpose, but I also don't want to slip in to a serious depression. If I see myself heading down that road I will definitely seek medical intervention, but for now I'm going to try the "activity therapy" route and look in to herbal/holistic supplements/treatments.

Edit: I'm going to stop taking the vitex supplement I began taking a week ago. It may be the culprit.
enduringplum: (Cinderella)
( Apr. 9th, 2009 11:25 am)

Along the north wall of our house the flower bed there has become a bulb garden. First my mother dug up all the amaryllis bulbs from around her house and the tiny 1950s ranch next door that would have been destroyed during demolition and renovations to each property, respectively. A few months later some spider lilies popped up in the yard with their bright red-orange, exotic blossoms-- an old fashioned flower that is one of my favorites, but which is no longer popular-- so she dug those up and dropped them off over here in a plastic bag that I found on the side of the house a few days after, so I planted those as soon as I realized it wasn't just a bag of yard debris Carl had left lying around. At the garden sale my mom purchased a few different varieties of day lily-- Hurricane Party (described as "39 inch light, ruffled full red violet, slightly darker around large yellow gold signal"), Clyde Redmond ("30 inch cornflower blue sect with yellow signal"), Web of Intrigue, and Forty Thieves-- and I planted those today in the same raised bed, afraid that they would dry out too much if I waited to plant them while I dug out a new flower bed. I planted Web of Intrigue in the only spot in that bed that can really be considered full sun, because I'm understandably most intrigued by its name and hope to see it bloom next spring; I was able to divide all of the others, most notably Forty Thieves, so I spread those out amongst all the amaryllis and spider lilies (many of the latter are rather sad, straggly and brown because the cats seem to believe they're there to poop on!). If all the bulbs were ever to miraculously bloom at once it would be quite a show, but as it is I should have color there nearly year round and I've been quite impressed by the amaryllis that have bloomed this year, despite the fact that they were only transplanted this winter.
enduringplum: (Blush)
( Apr. 7th, 2009 01:40 pm)
Okay, I just watched the infomercial for the JumpSnap "ropeless jump rope" and I have to say it's not entirely as absurd as it at first sounds, but I won't be getting one for forty dollars. I just can't see myself using a pretend jump rope, even if it can be used in tight spaces, unlike a traditional jump rope! However, it has gotten me thinking that maybe I should jump rope again, because I used to enjoy it, but I should probably get back in to regular yoga practice again first.

I'm really not looking forward to wrestling with Delgado over this financial issue and I have a terrible feeling that we will have to pay the money Delgado is convinced we owe. I should have dealt with this initially when I still had the paperwork that proved that they should have reimbursed me, but you know what they say about wishing in one hand... I'm just going to have to grit my teeth, possibly consult a lawyer, and get it over.
I had an interesting, introspective weekend - interesting to me, at least. Since my lunch with Dave on Friday I've been doing a lot of thinking about fear, goals, and living as one's authentic self; I do think on these subjects often, but something he said brought them to mind again, more potently.

My parents and I went to the spring garden sale at the Botanical Gardens where my mother purchased too many plants for my small yard, but which I will relish as I watch them grow, thrive, and bloom; by the time I'm done with it my backyard should be a veritable tropical paradise, shaded by the palms Cathy gave us as well as the collection of tibouchina, tree fern, hibiscus, and other tropical beauties my mom purchased. Since I'm still not supposed to do any heavy lifting I just planted a few of the smaller items in the front, like the Swiss chard, lemon balm, and Greek oregano I selected. I'm trying to grow a good selection of greens throughout the summer so I can cut down on the salad I need to buy, all of which comes in either plastic bags or boxes. Right now I have rows of tiny sprouts of red mustard, shungiku chrysanthemum, and beetberry. I was going to plant cabbages, but those really do better in cooler weather, so I'll wait until autumn.

We went to CPWC's breakfast this morning, but it wasn't really worth writing about; it was what I expected, nothing more or less, devoid of any real highs or lows. The Lamplight Circle meet-up I went to this afternoon, however, was great and I had a wonderful time and feel like I really learned a lot. Ty gave a presentation on Scott Cunningham, who is still absolutely the most accessible Wiccan author, and we discussed our own views of his teachings and our experience(s) with them. It's always good to get together with like-minded people and this meet-up was especially reaffirming and satisfying for me, because Scott Cunningham's books are what really made it clear that Wicca was (and is) the right path for me.

I have a follow-up appointment early tomorrow. I'm a bit apprehensive because I've been having some abdominal pain for the last two days, although it hasn't been nearly as intense as the pain the gallstones caused.

I need to do some research in to how Lamplight Circle can establish a community garden in my neighborhood. I know the space is available, but gaining access to it legally isn't something I know how to do. I also need to write some letters, specifically to Delgado and Touro's emergency department, otherwise I won't be able to move forward.
enduringplum: (Come Hither Gaze)
( Apr. 3rd, 2009 08:34 pm)
I spent all morning trapped in the bathroom, suffering through my post-gallbladder woes. Fortunately that should clear up entirely in six months to a years.

When I could finally move about without fear of embarrassment I had a traumatic incident with a cockroach that resulted in a half hour of me retching, trying not to hyperventilate, and almost sobbing. I'm not scared of snakes, spiders, tarantulas, bees, or wasps, but I'm completely phobic when it comes to cockroaches. I really need to work on that.

I did get some of my errands done, but I was too exhausted and missing Miranda too much to finish, so I went to my mom's house and hung out there. Miranda was napping when I arrived, so I just laid down next to her for a little while.

I keep reminding myself that I'm not fully healed, so I'm bound to be more easily exhausted than usual, but it just seems a little extreme; I plan to mention it to the doctor during my follow-up appointment next week.
enduringplum: (Brown Sugar)
( Mar. 30th, 2009 12:19 pm)
I'm feeling much more ready to purge my closet than I was the last time I made the attempt. Last time I hung on to way too much, because I just wouldn't have had more than four everyday outfits if I'd given it all away, but I have to accept that I must buy new clothes that fit me!

I'm going to get rid of everything that doesn't fit within one size, up or down, of my current post-pregnancy body; maternity clothes will go in to the attic for three or four years and if I don't get pregnant (or have not yet begun further fertility treatments) within that time, then they can go to the Goodwill (or a needy pregnant woman), too.

I'm happy to report I can actually jam my wedding ring on to my finger, although I can't yet wear both rings again. Progress!

Post-Op Update )
Well, it's finally out! I honestly have already noticed a reduction in my pain level, despite the discomfort from the surgical incisions (really, the only one that bothers me is the one on my solar plexus, which so far is discouraging me from standing up straight).

Surgery Day )

Miranda and Conrad are still with my parents, so the house has been eerily quiet; the night before my surgery it was difficult for me to sleep without Miranda snoring softly beside the bed and Conrad snoring on the floor at the foot of the bed. Miranda should be coming back home tonight some time, but she'll either be going back to my folks in the morning or one of them will come here, because I'm not supposed to lift more than fifteen pounds for the next two to three weeks.

Today I'm just going to take it easy and enjoy the quiet and solitude (and hopefully not vomit!). I may do some knitting or some very light gardening, like planting the coleus seeds Triple_Phoenix gave me. Or I may just veg on the sofa all day if the TV doesn't nauseate me.
enduringplum: (Brown Sugar)
( Mar. 17th, 2009 12:25 am)
My surgical consultation today was pleasant, despite the cumulative four and a half hour wait surrounding it. The resident who interviewed and examined me today will be present at the operation, which is reassuring, as is the coincidence that he reminds me of Holden Caulfield because of the multitude of silver hairs all over his head.

I have to return on Friday afternoon for a consultation with someone from anaesthesia and my actual surgery will be Tuesday next week, the 24th.

Before now I was feeling extremely fearful about having surgery again, but after meeting with the surgeons today I feel much more relaxed about it, especially since the resident with whom I've developed a bit of a rapport will actually be in the operating room that day and so will hopefully see me as the person he spoke with, rather than just a patient devoid of personality and background. I'm actually looking forward to it now, because it should relieve my pain immediately (barring certain complications) and gradually resolve my other symptoms.

I'm going to make an appointment for a mani and pedi sometime before my surgery.
enduringplum: (Brown Sugar)
( Mar. 12th, 2009 01:31 pm)
I can hardly believe this, but Miranda has begun napping in the middle of the day! For the last three days, including today, she has taken at least a two hour nap! Right now she's in the midst of a nearly three hour nap, from which I'm going to wake her in a few moments, because I don't want her staying up too late, either. It's so luxurious to have a few hours to myself in the middle of the day; I've taken a shower, planted seeds, wasted time browsing seeds online, had a leisurely lunch, and cleaned up the kitchen!


enduringplum: (Default)
Enduring Plum


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